DPC-season would start great, if it wasn’t for the same old patch. The first big tournaments both had great formats, amazing talent and very intense games… featuring the same heroes once again. However, just like with ESL One Hamburg, there were several new developments worth discussing.
With Axe being incredibly popular in the current meta and flexible enough to be played in both support and core roles, Magnus was an unexpected addition to what we now see as viable heroes. Long cooldown on ultimate and decent, but not exceptional laning stage made Magnus fly under the radar for a very long time.
Played by several teams, this hero has proven his worth not on the back of his iconic ultimate, with its long, BKB-piercing disable. It was Skewer that caught the attention of the professionals the most.
It makes sense, once you start thinking about it: repositioning is valued incredibly highly among pros and while Skewer is not very reliable, in the right hands and at the right moment it can do all the difference. Compared to Batrider and Pudge—two other heroes which rely on repositioning the enemy, Magnus has a big advantage of being able to pull in multiple opponents.
On top of it, he can be a great boost to his carry and enables many melee carries in terms of farm speed. We’ve seen the hero paired up with carries like Faceless Void, who struggles to keep up the pace in terms of farm, and Terrorblade, who can absolutely skyrocket in terms of Net Worth, under the effects of Empower.
Undying isn’t necessarily new, but he was very successful in the tournament with a 78% win rate. Granted, it was across 9 games, but it still shows that the hero can win games at the highest level of play.
The hero was often paired with aggressive offlaners to make for an incredibly tough lane for the opponent carry. For the most part this very straightforward plan worked, allowing the team with Undying to get significantly ahead by the midgame.
While the hero does fall off in the later stages and is incredibly underwhelming, when he doesn’t get to bully the opponent and have a decent start, this risk is worth taking. In pubs, where games take longer and more chances to recover are given to the opponent he is probably going to be weaker, but still very much playable.
8 showings and a 60%+ win rate — an incredible result for a hero long forgotten. Dazzle fell off incredibly hard with the start of the “laning meta”, but it seems players are finally starting to recognize the hero as not only a decent way to sustain teammates, but also as an aggressive piece, who can be exceptional in games where trading hits in lane is possible.
Naturally, you don’t want Dazzle to appear in lane with strong opposition, but his ability to continuously punish weaker lanes was underappreciated for far too long. With meta sometimes pushing teams to pick greedier cores, Dazzle has found his niche not only in Huskar strats, but also as a good support in Drow lineups and with other glass cannon carries.
It is hard to recommend the hero for the pub play, unless you are already familiar with him. Dazzle is still hard to utilize to his full potential, smartly using Poison Touch, timely giving your teammates Shallow Grave and maximizing both damage and heal of Shadow Wave. That said, with a buff or two and changes to the meta, we can definitely see him re-emerging, as long as Oracle doesn’t get too buffed as well.
Kuala Lumpur Major starts very soon and Valve has already announced the release of 7.20 right after it. We are confident that the Major will still find a way to surprise us, but it is good to know that the wait is soon going to be over.
What are your expectations for 7.20 and what would you like to see changed in your pubs and the professional scene?